Paul was born March 19, 1931 in the Belknap community (Johnson County) Illinois. He was the son of Ervin Graves and Lillian (Richards) Graves.
On January 27, 1953, Paul was united in marriage to Margaret Gillespie by Pastor Richardson at the Vienna First Baptist Church parsonage.
In addition to his wife, Paul is survived by: his children – Susie (Ted) Conner of Vienna, Sheila (Tom) Snider of Cypress, Steve Graves & Diana Steele of Vienna, Donnie (Kathy) Graves of Grantsburg, Scott Graves of Vienna, and Jamie (Melissa) Graves of Vienna; 14 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; 2 sisters – Catherine (Bob) Moore of Belknap and Virginia Bean of Vienna; a sister-in-law – Myrna Graves of Vienna; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Paul also leaves many friends, including those he thought of as family, Bill & Linda Conner and their children Tommy & Allison Conner all of Anna. Paul was also anticipating the birth of an additional great granddaughter.
In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by: a brother – Johnny Bob Graves; 2 sisters – Norma Vaughn and Barbara Duvall; and 2 brothers-in-law – Carroll Bean and Ed Vaughn.
Paul was a 1949 graduate of Vienna High School. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War as a shovel and crane operator. He was honorably discharged on September 3, 1960.
Following his military service, Paul worked as a shovel operator at the rock quarry at Anna. He also was employed as a service station attendant at Gage’s Gulf Station. Paul was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineer’s Local # 318 and had worked in the pipeline construction trade. For 23 years, Paul was employed as an LP Gas Serviceman by Fruit Belt, Inc. He was a “jack-of-all-trades” during his employment with Fruit Belt and assisted with fertilizer/anhydrous transport, satellite TV installation, and fuel delivery. Following his retirement from Fruit Belt, Paul was employed by Larry Hettinger and worked variously in the NAPA Auto Supply Store, the Outdoor Shop, and carwash. Paul and Margaret also served as campground hosts for 5 ½ years at the Hillman Ferry Campground near Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
Paul was a faithful member of the Vienna First Baptist Church, where he enjoyed working in the food pantry program.
Paul was devoted to his family. He had a lifelong passion for farming and enjoyed restoring antique tractors, which his grandson Westley would enter in area tractor shows. Paul also enjoyed gardening and working in his yard.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning, August 13, 2014, at 11 AM at First Baptist Church in Vienna. Dr. Ed Hollis will officiate. Interment will be in the Vienna Fraternal Cemetery. Military flag presentation will be accorded by the Illinois National Guard Burial Honors Detail.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Vienna.
Memorials may be made to the Vienna First Baptist Church (Food Pantry Program), PO Box 727, Vienna, Illinois 62995.